Should Sports Games Be A Biennial Release?

If you consider our past reviews and comments on NCAA and Madden Football you will often notice a bit of a jaded view on their development, creativity and AI (Artificial Intelligence) for the CPU controlled players.  This brings something to mind that has been suggested by multitudes of unhappy sports gamers – a biennial release/development cycle.

Most people can agree that sports titles coming out every single year are often no more than roster updates and beta-tests for possible future implementations (see ProTAK in Madden or Mascot Games …smh… in NCAA Football).  It isn’t really unheard of to have biennial development.  Call of Duty still manages to have a new title every year, but they are actually on a two year cycle with Treyarch and Infinity Ward getting a shot every other year.  You can say what you want about how good or bad those titles are, but fact of the matter is that they bring something new to the table strictly because each developer has their one small twist on how the game should play.

Madden and NCAA could use a break every other year.  The fact that EA has the sole license to develop these titles doesn’t really allow for this argument to go any further than a pipe-dream.  However, take a moment to imagine how much better some of these sports games would be in a two-year cycle rather than ten-month cycle.

2K Sports is a prime example of doing well with one game and AWFUL with another.  Their basketball titles are among the best ever made.  Unfortunately, their baseball titles are some of the most glitchy and straight up bad looking sports games out there.  If they were able to jump back into the football fray it would really force EA to step up their game.

This is where the biennial release of an NFL game for each company might pay off.  The downfall is that some people hate how 2K Football games play and feel.  It isn’t like being able to pick up Black Ops after Modern Warfare.  It is more like playing baseball and swinging the bat right-handed all season and then being told that you have to be left-handed next year.

The only other option that will allow the proper amount of improvement is to allow developers to have equal access to make officially licensed sports titles and then let the consumer decide.  EA bought the rights because they knew that they couldn’t compete with some of the things that 2K was doing.  It was a smart business decision, but it was a cowardly way to punk out of having any sort of competition to drive the quality of their games.

How do you feel about this?  Vote in the poll or comment below and be heard!

Madden 13 – No Editing Players Could Destroy Much of the Hype

While it hasn’t been officially ruled out for Madden 13, it has been stated that much of editing players outside of the XP System we mentioned a few days ago isn’t going to be an option when Madden 13 is released.  So, it remains to be seen if it is a certainty that it will be removed this year… however, in regards to what this means for the gaming community it is three-fold.

  1. EA Sports has once again ‘removed’ something that was in past iterations of Madden NFL.  Which baffles almost everyone that pays the slightest amount of attention to the game.  The reason this is so baffling is because EA Tiburon is constantly reinventing Madden.  When will they decide that this game is powered by their dedicated community and the edits they make to everything from ratings to playbooks (also not editable this year).
  2. Relying on Donny Moore for roster updates and his subjective ratings changes that vary depending on who had a good game from week to week.  The Ratings Czar is going to be on the spot this year if they don’t allow roster and ratings edits.  Not to mention the fact that this once again keeps offline gamers out of the loop entirely.
  3. A promising amount of hype is being overshadowed by what is looking more and more like regression on the part of EA and their dedication to allowing the end-user any sort of autonomy with their game.

Madden is still looking like a game to put on your ‘must have’ list in late August, but this latest news is troubling on many levels and it doesn’t bode well for this game from the perspective of roster-editing.